Another Week

Hi, All!

Well, another week has past, and we are all doing well.  The kids enjoyed their Halloween.  We had a nice dinner at Nichole and Brant’s house, and they all went Trick-or-Treating with the cousins.  It was a nice evening, and very low-key.

Joseph was very helpful this morning.  He was concerned that we might not know which sink or toilet to use, so he got a black sharpie marker are wrote “everybody’s sink” on counter, and “everybody’s toilet” on the back of the toilet.  Sweet of him to write in permanent marker, too, so it wouldn’t come off when wet.  I’m going to have him scrub it for awhile, then break out the fingernail polish remover to take it off.

Our printer decided to misbehave and stopped working today.  It won’t feed paper through it to print.  I tried and tried to get it working, but it doesn’t seem to want to work.  I do hope that Paul can make it happy.  I really need that printer for piano, and now is not the time to replace it.

*UPDATE*  I just got the printer working again.  I took it apart a bit and found a lollipop stick jammed in the paper feeders.  No wonder it was unhappy.  At least it makes me a bit happier to have my printer back!

The kids went camping with Paul on Friday.  They had a good time, and so did I.  It was nice to have a night’s sleep without any interruptions or noise.

Paul is still in the market for a job.  I have been reminded much this week that there is no blessing until after the trial of our faith.  I just hope and pray that a job comes soon so we can move on to other experiences in our lives.

Well, I suppose that is about it.  I guess I’m not too much in the mood for writing today!

Love, D’Net and Family


Hi, Everyone!

We have had quite a fun week.  On Tuesday, Becky went to her school at 3:30 in the morning, and drove 5 hours to the Grand Canyon.  She and her classmates had a great time touring the South Rim.  They got back on the bus around 2:00 in the afternoon, had a pizza dinner in Flagstaff, and got home at 7:30 that night.  It was quite the day!  Becky told us she was not at all tired, since she slept for 2 hours on the bus.  I think she was asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow, though.  She was so excited about the class trip, and had a lot of fun.  I never got to do anything like that when I was in 4th grade!

I took my midterm for my stupid, I mean, horribly interesting class about second language acquisition on Friday, and passed with 100%.  Makes me wonder if the teacher really read the answers, since I know I missed a few things.  It was 10 essay questions, and took just over 2 hours to finish.  Four more assignments and the final, and I’m done with the dang, I mean, incredibly valuable class!  After that I can apply for a provisional teaching certificate, take one more way interesting (NOT!) class, and be a full fledged certified teacher.

Saturday was a busy but very fun day.  We started off with a practice in the chapel for our Primary program.  After an hour, Paul picked the kids up and they left for the Halloween Party at Leisure World with Grandpa Layton.  They had a wonderful time playing games and getting lots of candy.  Adela loved the Haunted House, which was funny because Josh wouldn’t even go in, and Joseph went through but was scared to death.  Paul said it was funny hearing Adela tell Joseph it was okay.

I couldn’t go the the Halloween Party because I had a piano recital at 11:30.  It was held at the mall near our home.  My students did a fine job.  Some were a tad nervous, and zipped right through their pieces.  No one seemed to mind that the recital was done in only 35 minutes.  I was proud of their performances, and I’m glad it is over.

My piano students at the Music Marathon

My piano students at the Music Marathon

In the afternoon, we headed over to their cousin CJ and his foster brother’s birthday party.  It was a Toy Story theme, and they all dressed up in the Toy Story costumes Aunt Lori had for them.  Joshua was one of the 3-eyed little green martians, Joseph was Zurg, Adela was Bo-Peep, Becky was Jesse, and Paul was Stinky Pete.  They had a great time playing with their cousins, and having cake and ice cream.

After the party, Paul took the 3 young kids to the Trunk or Treat in Corey and Lori’s ward.  Paul said the chilli was excellent, and the kids had a great time gathering even more Halloween loot.

Becky and I headed back to the mall for Becky’s piano recital there.  She has a different teacher, and her recital was scheduled in the evening.  Becky was a bit nervous about her songs.  One she kept messing up on the week before at lessons, mainly because she was thinking more about going to the Grand Canyon the next day than her music.  She nailed them at the recital, though, and was so proud of herself.

Today we had the Primary program.  Our family sang “Home,” and the kids clamed up and didn’t sing much.  We did the program for the Senior Branch in our stake as well (2 programs in 1 day – can we say wiggly kids and exhausted teachers?)  The kids sang a little better there, but Josh and Adela kept fighting over the microphone and moving it in front of their mouth.  That was rather amusing.  Adela also stood beside me and helped me conduct the closing hymn.  That was rather amusing, too, and rather cute.  Becky said we made 4 of the grandma’s cry, so I think overall the program was a success.

Paul is still on the job hunt.  He had a second interview last week.  He is supposed to hear the results of that this week, and he has a phone interview tomorrow with another company.  It is rather worrying, with the economy and all, but I have faith that the Lord will help Paul find a job. 

My work is going well.  I had an evaluation of my teaching by the principal last week.  My review wasn’t too positive.  She only had one kinda good thing to say.  That night she sent me an e-mail saying she had redone the schedule for next semester, and was going to have me teach another music class instead of a language arts class.  I am so excited!  She evaluated my teaching of my writing class, and probably decided I was better teaching music than language arts.  I’m afraid she is right! 

Well, that is about all for now.  We are hoping for a slightly less busy week next week, but if it came with a job offer we’d be thrilled!

We have had a pretty good week.  The major news is we had a couple of visits from the tooth fairy.  Joseph had another very loose tooth, and let Paul pull it since Bro. Stoddard wasn’t around to pull it like the last one.  His new permanent teeth look so much happier now.  They have even moved up a bit in the last couple of days.

The next day Josh ripped out another tooth.  Literally.  I had to tell Josh that the tooth fairy wanted him to stop doing that.  If he does, she won’t bring him any money, and he’ll have to eat baby food until new teeth grow it.  Would’t be the yummy stuff, either.  Strained peas, squash, zuchinni, and the like.  He does look cute with the toothless grin, though.  Here is a picture of the cutie-pies.  Joseph is in the yellow, and Josh is wearing red.


Since the camera is hooked into the computer right now, here is another picture of the kids on the first day of school.  Josh is on the left, followed by Becky, Joseph, and Adela.

The girls are doing well.  Becky spent a lot of time this week doing homework.  Her teacher sent home 28 pages to be done in 2 days.  I thought she had till Friday to turn it in, but her teacher wanted the packet back on Thursday so she wouldn’t have to grade over the weekend.  That’s hard when she sent it home on Tuesday instead of Monday!!

Adela is a happy little girl, and mommy’s little buddy.  She got to go to lunch with mommy and some piano teacher friends on Friday.  They think she is the cutest, best mannered little girl, and spoiled her with ice cream and apple pie for dessert.  She is very patient listening to all the grownups talk shop for so long. 

I am doing fine.  It is still rather exhausting to come home and teach a full load of piano students after teaching school, but it was a tiny bit better this week.  I think the hardest part is realizing that I’m not nearly as good of a piano teacher as I usually am.  I’m not very motivated, and have work hard to stay patient with the kids. 

Paul had an interview on Friday that went very well.  We are hoping he gets offered the job.  He seems to be the only one they have interviewed so far.  They said they are going to interview some more people and get back to Paul within a couple of weeks.  If he gets another job offer, they want to know so they can make a decistion faster.  He only has 2 more weeks left at his present position, so we are praying that something comes through in a couple of weeks.

Well, that is about all.  We hope everyone has a fantastic week!

The Latest

Hi, Everyone! 

It is way past due for a family update, so here goes!

Joseph has had an eventful day.  He has 2 permanent bottom teeth growing behind his baby ones that stubbornly won’t come out.  Well, he has been wiggling and wiggling, and today in Sacrament Meeting his tooth really got loose.  There was about as much excitement in that front row as would be in the delivery room with an expectant mother.  Well, Sacrament ended and the tooth still remained hanging by a thread, and our sensitive little boy wouldn’t let us or him pull it out.  So, off to Primary, where Joseph’s teacher, Bro. Stoddard, turned into the hero of the day. Joseph let him pull the tooth out.  Bro. Stoddard said he didn’t think he had pulled it out, and Joseph didn’t think so either, but there was the tooth in the paper towel!  We are SO happy, and tomorrow we are going to bake cookies for our wonderful primary teacher/dentist.

Josh has a cute little grin now, too.  We have the opposite problem with Josh.  A tooth will be just slightly wiggly, and the next day he will rip it out so the tooth fairy can come.  He is missing his right upper and lower front teeth.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t want to be a jack-o-lantern for Halloween.  Josh is also doing incredibly well in school, both academically and behavior wise.  His teacher said sometimes Josh will start to cry and melt down.  She calmly informs him that he can do that if he chooses, and she will go call his mom to take him home.  Then she just walks away, and Josh calms right down. 

Adela is doing great.  She is loving her dance class.  There is a girl from our ward, and the sister of a couple of my piano students in the same class.  They have a lot of fun together.  Adela is also in preschool 2 days a week.  A group of 5 moms rotate teaching.  I am in the current rotation, and teach on Fridays, and my friend Lybi is teaching on Tuesdays.  It is a lot of fun for Adela and the kids.  I have also come to the conclusion that I am very glad that teaching preschool is not my calling in life. 

Becky is doing great as well.  She finally has a permanent teacher at school.  Her original class had 40 students in it.  They added another class, and Becky was switched into the new one.  They had a long term sub that Becky really enjoyed.  Two weeks ago the new teacher started.  Becky likes her and she seems to be doing a good job with the students.  Becky is also keeping busy with piano.  Her teacher has assigned her a Chopin Prelude and a Mozart Sonata.  She has about half of the Chopin down, but had a hard time learning the Mozart.  We managed to get the first line hands together this week.  It was quite a process, but Becky was very proud of herself once she got it down. 

I am now going into my 3rd week of teaching school.  The director of the school that I worked at when Becky was little gave me a call and asked me if I was interested in teaching there again.  One of their teachers had gotten a full time job in another school, and was only able to give a week notice.  They needed someone to fill her spot.  She was teaching psychology for kids, a writing class, an earth science class, and Spanish.  I told Kathy, the director, that I would be fine but for the Spanish.  I know a bit of Spanish, but am in no way even close to fluent.  She called a couple of days later asking if I could do it if they found a Spanish speaking aide.  I told her I might could, but good luck finding someone to come in for an hour 3 days a week! 

Well, the next day, a Thursday, I got a message from the secretary of the school saying they needed my teaching certificate, fingerprint card, and application that day or the next so human resources could process my paperwork and get me started.  I was in a bit of shock.  I hadn’t realized I had actually been offered the position, and I certainly didn’t think I had accepted!  To top everything off, they wanted me to start the following Monday.

There was a problem, though – I didn’t have my teaching certificate yet.  I had let it expire in the midst of Josh, Joseph, and Adela.  I was too busy dealing with diapers, bottles, sleepless nights and just trying to stay somewhat sane to worry about my teaching certificate.  So, I drove down to Phoenix that next Friday to get a $60 substitute certificate until my real one came in.  Unfortunately, the rules have changed, and I need a 3 credit hour course on how to teach non-native English speakers before I can get my certificate.  I thought that paying $185 and taking the 2 mandatory tests to prove I know what I learned in college would be enough to at least get a temporary certificate, but not so.  The gal at the Dept of Ed that was helping me put a flag on my file, though.  When they got the application I had sent in and the $120 nonrefundable certification fee, she had it sent to her desk, and she in turn mailed it all back to me, money order and all.  She was such an angel for doing that!  So, now I am taking an on-line class to fulfil that last requirement.  It was $328, but at least I can do it on my own time.  So many people blame the education system and teachers for society’s problems.  I guess this is their way of making us pay for it.

After that adventure I went to the district substitute services to get my paperwork processed.  Terri, the gal in charge there was so grateful I was able to take the position, as it was a hard one to fill.  It is part time Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and only pays $45 a day.  I was telling her what a bummer it was that I had to start as a sub until I got that dang class done and a real teaching certificate in my hands.  My babysitting costs are $25 a day, plus gas and taxes.  I would be bringing home about $5-10 dollars a day.  I was going to tell them on Monday that I would do it until they could find anther sub, but it really wasn’t worth it until I could be hired as a teacher.

Well, Friday late afternoon, I got another call from Kathy, the director of the school.  It seems as Teri from sub services was another angel working on my behalf.  She called the director of Human Resources, and told him about the situation.  He gave her permission to pay me full teacher’s pay as a substitute.  I was so relieved!  I think they were, too.  It would have been a tough position to fill!

So, after all that, school is really going well.  Adela is staying with Aunt Lori while I teach on Mondays and Thursdays.  Tuesdays, Paul takes her to school and picks her up, at least until he finds another job and doesn’t get work at home on Tuesdays any more.  The kids I teach are wonderful, and I only have 1 boy that really annoys me.  We are coming to a bit of an understanding, though.  Even the Spanish class is fine, and I don’t need any help for it.  It is really basic, and forutanetly I have excellent pronunciation, and have effectivley fooled the kids into thinking that I know what I’m teaching.  As long as the book is in front of my, I’m fine.  😉

I have had a hard time adjusting to the schedule.  I am exhausted, and feel like a walking zombie much of the time.  Between teaching school, preschool, and piano, my college class, the kids, and the house I have been stretched rather thin.  We are anxiously praying that Paul finds a job very soon.  Once he does, I will be able to drop most of my piano students in January.  It will be nice because I will be able to do most of my teaching while the kids are at school, and have time with them in the afternoon.  I was planning on doing that next year when Adela started kindergarten, but this dropped into my lap. 

Well, that is about it for the exciting lives of the Layton family.  We think of you often, and you are always in our prayers!

Utah Pictures

We have had a good week, though we really miss Becky. We are excited for her return home on Wednesday. It sounds like she has had a great time with Katelynn and her family, though. We have been busy cleaning, baking, and making Adela some new skirts.

I also scrapbooked a couple of pages of our Utah trip. I thought you all would love to see some of our Utah pictures too, so here you are!

To Utah and Back Again

We had a wonderful time visiting Utah this past week.  We spent a lot of time with Cathy and children, and visiting Grandpa Christensen.  The week was full of swimming, library visits, a dinosaur and life science museum, fishing, playing at parks, and of course, visiting with the family.  Becky, Adela and I also enjoyed a trip to Sandy for Paul’s cousin Amy’s bridal shower.  It was wonderful seeing some of the extended family again.  The boys each caught a fish with Uncle Brian and Matthew, and my, were they excited.

Cathy sent home some costumes that her children have outgrown for Adela.  The child is in heaven, especially with the cheer leading skirt.  Adela wants to wait till it snows (good luck with that one!) before she wears the sweater that goes with it, but she found a t-shirt to go with it.  I wish you could have seen her face when I pulled all of the pretty clothes out!

Becky was SO sad about leaving Katelynn.  She only gets to see her once or twice a year, and a week wasn’t nearly long enough.  So, we left her in Utah – but only for a couple of weeks.  My parents will be traveling to Utah on July 30th and will bring Becky back home with them.  She hasn’t even been gone for a full 24 hours, and I miss her so much!  I don’t know how I’ll survive the next couple of weeks.  I was worrying myself silly last night.  What if she gets homesick?  What if she wakes up with a nightmare in the middle of the night?  Paul assured me that she will be fine, and Cathy is rather experienced with children, and Becky will have a blast.  I know she will – she and Katelynn were so very excited.  The boys were rather put out that they didn’t get to stay up in Utah with Isaac, but I love Cathy too much to do that to her her!  Besides, I need somebody to provide mischief and keep me busy, and the boys fit the bill perfectly.

As soon as I unpack the camera, I’ll upload some of our pictures from the trip, but I’m going to close for now and take a nap.

Becky at the Piano

I took some video of Becky today playing a couple of her favorite piano pieces. The first is Arabesque by Burgmuller. The second is The Clown by Kabalevsky. That practicing is paying off!